What “passive recreation” would you like to enjoy on DCR spaces in Southborough?

by beth on October 29, 2019

DCR Sudbury Watershed Boundary from DCR Map - with added inset highlighting Southborough borders

(click to enlarge)

The Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation is asking the community to weigh in on how land it owns in the Sudbury Reservoir Watershed should be used.

The DCR is surveying the public as part of their review of policies for passive recreation on their land.* At first, I assumed that meant land surrounding the reservoir. But a map on the survey page educated me that most of Southborough is within the watershed boundaries.

That means it also covers DCR land overlapping the northeast corner of town, between Bigelow Road and Northborough Road. (Click on the map right. I added an inset of the Town’s borders for those of you not familiar with them at a glance.)

The announcement shared by Southborough’s Conservation Agent provides more detail on DCR’s intent:

Sudbury Public Access Plan Update Survey 2020 announcement

DCR has submitted the following message requesting feedback and citizen participation:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Water Supply Protection (DCR DWSP) is in the beginning stages of reviewing the current policies for passive recreation on Division owned lands within the Sudbury Reservoir Watershed for the 2020 Public Access Plan Update. As part of this process, DCR DWSP would welcome feedback from user groups and residents in addition to municipal officials, town boards and commissions. We have created an online survey (link below) to gather this information from the public. The survey will close on December 15, 2019.

As the Division would like this survey to reach as many people as possible, we would greatly appreciate your assistance by adding the link to the survey on your website, any social media that your organization may have and any other means of communication you might have with the public. At the end of the process, a public meeting will be held where comments will be accepted on the draft Public Access Plan Update. We anticipate this meeting will take place in the Spring.

Survey link: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/dcr-watershed-plans

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Joshua Sjogren, at joshua.sjogren@mass.gov 774-261-1851.

You may also contact the Southborough Conservation Agent, Melissa Danza, at mdanza@southboroughma.com or 508-281-8984!

DCR’s link above actually opens their overall Watershed Plans page which explains the planning process. Navigating that Table of Contents to “Plan Update in Process – Sudbury Reservoir Access Plan” leads to the survey link. Or jump directly to the survey by clicking here.

The survey asks about your use of or interest in Passive Recreation including:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking/walking
  • Cross country skiing/snowshoeing
  • Picnicking/relaxing
  • Geocaching/letterboxing
  • Photography/nature study/bird watching

Questions also cover issues like the ease/difficulty of finding rules for the land, and whether you’ve ever come across the following activities on DCR property: Dog walking, Swimming or wading, Feeding ducks or geese, Biking, Snowmobiling/ATVs, Visitor consuming alcohol/drugs, Boating Camp fires, Camping, or Drones.

*Passive Recreation doesn’t include organized sports. My impression is that this survey does not apply to DCR-owned 9/11 turf field.

1 Townie October 30, 2019 at 9:05 AM

Too bad they are not considering non-motorized boating like Hopkinton State Park.

2 beth October 30, 2019 at 9:55 AM

There is an “other” category which allows you to post what you would like to see added.

3 FCW October 30, 2019 at 3:52 PM

@Townie good point! I’ll make that request

4 Kelly Roney October 30, 2019 at 6:22 PM

A couple of years ago, I asked DCR about passive recreation on the reservoirs, which are only used as backup for drinking water, and the answer was a flat no. But ask again. Canoes and kayaks on the water would be great!

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